Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

 

Jonny Lang, going back to his roots with an album that has a deep vein of blues timing and tempo to explore. Into this vein of rich musical treasures, he weaves in soul and the rawness of deep roots music, making sure your interest is always whetted with anticipation of what is coming next.

The first sign of this album has a fresh approach is the opening track Make It Move with the deep gospel, chain gang infused choruses. This is contemporary roots, porch step blues. We are making the move, going to the mountain rather than waiting for it to come to you; making that effort to put the first step forward as the guitar squeals demanding attention. Signs is an album replete with textures and tones have been blended, shaken and stirred into a cocktail of guitar, electrics and vocals that rasp out the lyrics

Never constrained by traditional rules of electric guitar blues, Lang re-shapes the sound as we meet snakes in the grass the power of the guitar licks build with blinding riffs full of venomous intent as funk collides with blues and a driving octane that is the signature of Jonny Lang as he meets the Snakes on track two. The power builds the drive becomes more determined and though he sings Last Man Standing you know if it is a contest of guitar playing many will fall by the wayside as Lang plays on full of grit, skill and determination that rocks.

The title track often reveals a lot about the intent of the album. The Signs are definitely clear on this title track. The guitar taking the lead it is eventful, full of activity and at times pulling blues into the cocktail of mixed up sounds. The vocals pull the mix of solo guitar and then the deep riffs that curl around the ear making the sound fizz.  Bitter End, again has the feel of an urgency to throw in all the ingredients into the cocktail, often like taste the ear can only comprehend so much and simplifying the sonic onslaught makes the tone structure more memorable as you are not rushing onto the next cascade of sound.

Signs is a journey of a musician looking for a contemporary space which has not been caught like a spider in a web of a particular guitar based genre and approach. The signal that Lang is putting together his own earthy sound rooted deep in the earth of guitar creativity is emerging on this album Signs. As we head home the album slows, the frenetic pace is stilled as we have the first of a trio of tracks that have been stripped back to a more ordered structure. Bring Me Back Home, his voice is soulful full of emotional yearnings giving the lyrics the power. The energy and drive of the stomp are picked up on Wisdom. The sound is electric in its simplicity showcasing the vocal tones of Jonny’s voice combine by clear cut precise guitar. Closing out with Singing Songs is my favourite, redeeming the album making you go back and explore all the pathways Lang has taken us along on Signs. The breathlessness of the vocals fill out as the chorus picks up we will go on singing songs/ The reason why Jonny Lang continues to perform it is that the song is at the heart of Signs whether wrapped in guitar complexity or stripped down on the last few numbers.

Signs builds with an intensity at first, and it can seem confused, too busy, not sure what the sound wants to be. Then as the tracks become more familiar on every listen you unpick another cadence, sound bite the cocktail of styles now makes sense as Signs becomes the musical cocktail of choice.  There is no doubt that Signs, his first album since signing with Mascot Label Group has a maturity of a young man who after two decades of success at the age of thirty-six has mixed up the genres creating a new sign post ‘Lang Sound’; get to know the new direction before deciding as there is much that is good about the direction even if the pathway at times is cluttered. Signs with it complexity grows with every listen.

Jonny Lang – Signs – Mascot Label Group

Release 25th August 2017

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Make It Move
  2. Snakes
  3. Last Man Standing
  4. Signs
  5. What You’re Made Of
  6. Bitter End
  7. Stronger Together
  8. Into The Light
  9. Bring Me Back Home
  10. Wisdom
  11. Singing Songs

 

Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature

 

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature that is a certainty on his latest album; the follow-up to his critically acclaimed and Juno nominated Belmont Boulevard.   JW has raised the temperature steaming the notes and forming a new a new sound full of warm tones with his vocals adding to the tonal colour of blues infused music full of soulfulness.

Thirteen original numbers, twelve of them co-written by Dick Cooper, of the Cooper Brothers. The song making up the baker’s dozen, How Many Hearts is co-written by Jaida Dreyer and Colin Linden.  The songs are a mix of the personal, playful and painful, life is being tempered by the high temperature of the guitar playing and strong songwriting.

Opening with Price You Pay, the guitar is sharp as a gun slinger looking for a challenge, it is a statement this is my stage I am in control of the sparkling blues. The lyrics unfold a story unfurled and we know what the price it is we have to pay.  Introducing us once more to his touring bassist Laura Greenberg, whose tones reflect back the sound of Jones’ six-strings. The drummer on the album is Bryan Owings as High Temperature was recorded before Will Laurin joined the band as the drummer.

Focusing on the power of JW Jones, there is not an array of guests the sound is what you expect to hear when JW tours with his band, and the exception to the rule, there has to be one, is Jaida Dreyer joining him on her own composition How Many Hearts. The two vocals harmonise and curl around the lyrics, beat and keys courtesy of Kevin McKendree. Quickly followed by the title track full of swing and mellow blues a big band sound that lays down the influences that dominate the album High Temperature. This is Blues for a good time full of delicious tonal licks, shuffles and the cutest hooks for JW to hang his vocals from. The sound is luscious full-on with the layering of the instruments so that the sound has a richness and depth that is worth every minute that your ears explore the cadences. This is big time Blues, full of confidence and pizzazz.

The first three numbers lay down the quality of JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature; under the skills of the producer Colin Linden’s hand. The studio sound is crisp and warm; with the free from the fluidity of Jones’ live performances. The reach of the vocals is far connecting to the listener with a genuine heartfelt affection of tone. Opening up even further than he did on Cocaine Boy on Belmont Boulevard, you get to know about the real JW Jones on Who I Am. On this emotionally charged blues number, the guitar squeals as the vocals connecting blues in the blood with the life ethics his Grandfather instilled in him making sure he has love in his heart. The cascading keys is a statement of the roads travelled to have the confidence to state this is Who I Am. The album is outward looking, never self-absorbing, the beat picks up with driving rhythms encouraging foot-tapping not tears.

The blues are never far from any JW Jones number blue sparkles and shimmer deep as a sapphire under the brightest moonlight on Midnight Blues. Full of static electricity and the power of the big band sound of urban blues at the top of their game.

Closing out the album we have a turn in the bending road of blues infused music with a country feel. This is fast high-tailing music where the guitar takes centre stage on this instrumental allowing the instruments to take us on a journey painting a picture leaving us with the Wham factor.

High Temperature, from JW Jones is a must for lovers of electric blues, the album goes beyond the genres delighting guitar driven music lovers everywhere when combined with the infectious nature of a soulful voice.

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Price You Pay
  2. How Many Hearts
  3. High Temperature
  4. Murder In My Heart For The Judge
  5. Who I Am
  6. Away Too Long
  7. Same Mistakes
  8. Leave Me Out
  9. Midnight Blues
  10. Out Of The Woods
  11. Already Know
  12. Where Do You Think I Was
  13. Wham

 

JW Jones Raising Blues to a High Temperature